Things To Do With Antlers

When I was living in New York I hardly thought about antlers. Now I find them on hikes and around town at at yard sales. The other day I decided to give these a little extra color. Whatta ya think?


Sufi Winter Schedule

As you may know, here in Truth or Consequences I lead a contemplative Sufi group. Please feel welcome to drop in on us should you find yourself in town. And please do consider coming to town to our very special winter retreat. It is a wonderful opportunity to do deep inner work. You need not have any previous experience or knowledge of Sufism to join in these events.


Transformed Trash

I recently posted about an experiment I was trying out. I sent broken, old jewelry to an Etsy designer that I chose to remake the items into beautiful new jewelry. By using old parts and supplying my own materials I was able to afford jewelry that I otherwise could not. I loved working with Saara. She is genuinely talented, great at communicating and she designs beautiful pieces. The experiment could not have turned out better so I'm recommending her to you. Saara's designs contain whimsy while being organic and earthy. To see the materials I sent her go back to my first post about it. Posted here is the pic of what she made for me. The three rings swivel when I wear them and so they always look different. All three stones are different heights with different sized mounts, the rings vary as well, polished to matted finish. It is positively lovely and Saara and I are already working on a pair of earrings. You can find her store, Saara Reidsema, here and of course you may write to her if you have custom work. Enjoy!


Five Days in Utah's Grand Gulch

We enjoyed our longest backpacking trip ever, five days in Utah’s Grand Gulch. We covered about thirty miles in total, it was slow going at times due to technical terrain, drank from puddles, and saw lots of ruins. I wouldn’t have done anything different. We packed the right food, gear, and clothing.  Our packs were at 25 lbs each including equipment, food for the entire trip, and 2 liters of water each. We even managed to forage enough oyster mushrooms for several meals. 5 Days in Utah's Grand Gulch 5 Days in Utah's Grand Gulch 5 Days in Utah's Grand Gulch

Full Lunar Eclipse Tonight

One of our favorite things to do in New Mexico is sit in a our Hot Spring and watch a two hour lunar eclipse.


Checking In With Friends @ Root Simple - An Interview

This week Mikey and I enjoyed chatting blogger, author, Erik Knutzen. With his wife Kelly he keeps the blog Root Simple. The pair have also written two great books, The Urban Homestead and Making It. Their homestead is in Los Angeles where they live an active life and keep a sophisticated homestead. Check out their blog for all sorts of tips and information. And listen to our chat with Erik earlier this week. We had a bunch of fun talking about our lives, post The Good Life Lab. You can check out our conversation here. Enjoy!

Have You Ever Tried a Running Skirt?

Wendy’s fist test 8 mile run in a running skirt.


Sealing Our Tent Seams

We have been happy with our super light Tarp Tent so far. However, we have not tested it out in rainy weather yet. Our friend suggested we seal the seams with a mix of GE II Clear Silicon Caulk before our next backpacking adventure. We also added some silicon strips to the bottom of the tent so our matts and bags will stay in place.


Big Foot

Running in nature invites you to get over fears: fear of creatures and of getting lost for example. I have learned to love reading the tracks when I run. This morning on a 9 mile run I ran into this big print. Hummm, not likely a cat as they retract their claws. Too big for a coyote? Not sure, but I'm glad we didn't bump.


Steep Peak - Our Local Wilderness Hike

We have a local Wilderness area that is less than forty miles from our place. It’s called Apache Kid and it’s over 55k acres in size. The only bummer about the place is that the easiest access point is a trailhead that takes you up 3k feet in elevation in less than 5 miles. Today Wendy and I went with Sesame to look for mushrooms at 10k feet.

Steep Peak - Our Local Wilderness Hike #2 Steep Peak - Our Local Wilderness Hike #3

I like the Gummy Shoes - Montrail FluidFlex

After trying a half dozen pairs of trail running shoes I’ve picked a favorite. My Montrail FluidFlex are crazy light, drain water incredibly fast and have just the right amount of gummy cushioning. I picked up a replacement pair for $32 last week. There are two downsides to these. The soles are so soft that they tend to wear out by 300 miles. They also pickup a lot sand/dirt while running to the point that I need to pull the insoles before each outing and really shake them clean. I noticed that that multiple top runners from the Hard Rock 100 are also wearing this specific model of shoe (not the FluidFlex II).


Lazy and Late Prickly Pear Harvet

Happy to score some ripe prickly pear cactus fruit tonight. Some minor trespassing was involved. I used tongs and a cardboard box to harvest the fruit. Just before turning on the $35 steam juicer which efficiently extracts the juice I jabbed each piece with a fork several times.

Lazy and Late Prickly Pear Harvest #2

Jujube to Syrup

Jujube to Syrup by mikey and wendy
Jujube to Syrup, a photo by mikey and wendy on Flickr.
Our jujube trees have been cranking out baskets of delicious fruit for weeks. Since we are trying to maintain a pretty low carb diet we needed to do something to preserve the abundance of fruit. We came up with a pretty good solution. Harvest the jujubes when they are ripe, boil them down in the sun oven, remove the fruit and boil down the syrup further, finally dehydrate the remaining fruit for backpacking. Jujube to Syrup #2 Jujube fruit in different stages of processing. Jujube syrup being boiled down.


Where Is Waldo?

Do you recognize the woman in this photo?  It seems that she dropped her SD card in the Huston (Bush) Airport on August 30th. Look closely, do you see the flyer she's waving in the air? It's for a Swap-O-Rama-Rama. That's how the photo got to me. You guessed it. A good samaritan picked up the SD card and looked at the pics for clues. The flyer lead her to me since I'm the founder of Swap-O-Rama-Rama. I have no idea who this girl is but this sure seemed to be a great excuse for a round of where is Waldo. Do you know her? Perhaps someone that you know knows her? Game on.


Pain In The Gut

I've been plagued by reflux for about three years. At first I tried natural remedies and when the symptom went away I returned to life as usual thinking it was over. Hardly. I don't do pharmaceuticals, but a couple of times out of desperation I took a few over the counter pills. Once I read about how they work I stopped. On year three I got serious. Now I understand that solving reflux is complex. It is more than diet. Feeling good is a lifestyle change. Time of day, portions, food combining. . . there are many details. After a year of data mining I came up with a diet. I made many sacrifices and there have been gains. I have more energy, better sleep, lost weight, and my concentration is sharpening. My palette changed too. The sweet potato, carrot and jujube syrup that I make from my jujube tree's fruit taste like candy to me. I find hope that I can handle the likely next step, an ultra low carb diet to address candida, a destructive gut yeast that people with reflux often have too much of.

Meanwhile I this is helpful to you. Feel good!

Make Up - 
high fat (1/3 animal fats 2/3 non animal from things like ghee, olives, avocado, nuts), medium protein, low carb
regarding dairy: eat lots of homemade yogurt but no cheese unless homemade (raw) or goat cheese
moderate citrus, chocolate (bittersweet only)
no grains, wheat, soy, caffeine, refined sugar or processed food, caffeine, or alcohol

Time - 
if in pain upon waking eat oatmeal asap
raw juices before 3pm only
load up on carbs immediately after endurance sports 
after 3pm carbs from veggies only (no fruit) - emphasis on soluble fiber veggies (low intake of non-soluble)
no food of any kind after 7pm 

Amount and Combinations - 
chew everything completely (break down food so acids in belly don't have to)
fruit is always eaten alone (otherwise it ferments in the gut) 
no liquids with meals (dilutes stomach acid needed to break down food)
if you drink alcohol (yeah that's cheating) than dilute it with lots of water so it does not damage the gut too much

Supplements - 

DGL Licorice enzymes (stimulates enzymes, great for immediate symptom relief), goldenseal and milk thistle (bitters to stimulate digestion)

Resource - a web resource that I found helpful is Chris Kessler's site.  

Looking for the Right Box

Sometimes you need to ship a large item that you don't have a box for.

Rain from Hurricane Odile

The weather forecast says rain for 3 days straight. The moisture started coming in this morning so we decided to go for a wet 3 mile dog run. Hurricane Odile moisture in New Mexico


Cross Town Traffic

I may be on my way to being a tracker. I just love examining the prints that show the patterns of life when I'm out running in the desert. The desert sand reveals the tiny to the mammoth, insect, reptile, mammal and yes 4 wheel drive. This little trail, which I found at about 5 miles out from town seems to be well used by a heard of goats. Often a small trail will show a huge variety of tracks in front of it telling me that there are freeways made by creatures living in the wild. The second shot shows the area where I found the trail, you can see we've had some rain as everything is green and feels fresh. I think Mikey's about to post the tree of death, also found in this area. You'll see. . .

Surprise, Your The Cover - Geronimo Trail

This morning, while waiting in a city office for an appointment I perused a rack of brochures and plucked this fold out guide to New Mexico's Geronimo Trail. What surprised me was the cover photo featuring me, Sesame and my friend Kyle. Aww check out Sesame in her backpack.